President Donald Trump’s spy chief will not meet Friday’s deadline to submit a classified report to Congress on foreign efforts to sway the Nov. 3 election, officials said, because of arguments within the intelligence community over whether China should be cited more prominently for its attempts to influence American voters.
A statement from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s office Wednesday night said the deadline will not be met because career officers in the intelligence community say they have “received relevant reporting since the election and a number of agencies have not finished coordinating on the product.”
Ratcliffe was weighing refusing to sign off on the report unless it more fully reflected the national security threat posed by China’s efforts, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the information. …
The intelligence report would not deal with allegations of domestic fraud, such as in ballot-counting.
There is allegedly “ample” raw intelligence about China’s intentions and actions related to the election, with more intelligence reporting coming in everyday. Some of the influence operations include social media campaigns seeking to amplify messages such as that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist.
However, senior career analysts disagree on the significance of those influence operations. Some analysts argue that they were minimal or ultimately not acted on, while others say it is extensive and far more than previously known. The disagreement includes whether there should be a China section in the report, according to the source.
Despite this serious debate, Ratcliffe is concerned that proper tradecraft — which would require that the disagreement be reflected in the report with both views represented — will not be followed simply in order to deprive President Trump of a potential political talking point.
In other words, Ratcliffe is concerned that the intelligence report would be written in a way due to politics — the very definition of politicization of intelligence, and only bury real and growing concerns about China from the intelligence community.
A delay in the report gives people less time to digest it, before the deadline of Jan 6 when Trump must act. Trump must demand it on Friday as mandated, ready or not.
It’s always bad for your country when spooks are involved in its politics. The US, as the world’s leading country and relatively open, is of course a magnet for everyone’s spooks.
We recently found out that Chinese intelligence has been grooming and collecting compromising material on countless minor political figures, so that they would control them if they happened to rise to positions of influence. For example, Eric Swalwell was targeted by Chinese spy Fang Fang when a junior local politician, but has now risen to Congress and the House Intelligence Committee. Swalwell of course has been prominent in alleging that Russia, not China, meddles in US politics.
What if the US deep state, now led by people like John Brennan and perhaps going back to J. Edgar Hoover, has also been gathering compromising material on US politicians for decades, in order to guide the ship of state? How would we know? Would it turn the US leadership corrupt, so that they often did not act in the interests of its citizens, perhaps? No wonder they hate Trump.
hat-tip Kat H., Charles, David A.